Ministers welcome Qantas-Emirates deal
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CANBERRA, Dec 20 AAP
December 20 2012, 11:24AM
The federal government has lauded the competition watchdog's provisional approval for a Qantas partnership with Emirates as a win for both domestic and international travellers.
In a draft decision handed down on Thursday, The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it would authorise an alliance between the two airlines for a period of five years.
Qantas and Emirates had been seeking a 10-year approval from the ACCC, but commission chair Rod Sims said he had concerns about potential fare increases on flights between Australia and New Zealand.
Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson says the tourism industry will benefit from the stability the alliance gives Qantas.
It also would help create the efficient air links vital to attracting long-haul passengers.
"The alliance will allow Qantas to concentrate on timetabling flights from Asia at times visitors want to travel," Mr Ferguson said in a statement.
"(It will) ensure visitors from Europe and the Middle East can fly to Australia with greater ease on a single ticket, often with only one stop."
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the partnership also offered the potential for lower fares for Australian travellers.
Qantas and Emirates are seeking a final decision from the ACCC before the end of March 2013.